Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) is warning residents about the dangers posed by carbon monoxide during the winter months.
"Carbon monoxide has the potential to be very dangerous, even deadly, because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless and is often located in our own homes," said Senator Fuschillo. "The good news is that residents can protect themselves from the dangers posed by Carbon Monoxide by taking a few simple safety measures."
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. When fuel burning appliances are maintained and used properly, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous. However, dangerous levels of CO can occur if appliances are not functioning correctly or are improperly used.
Residents can take the following steps to help protect themselves from CO poisoning:
- Install a CO alarm in your home, and always make sure that it is operating.
- Read and follow all of the instructions that accompany any fuel-burning device
- Make sure that your fuel burning appliances (furnaces, water heaters, gas ovens and ranges, fire places, wood stoves, etc.) are functioning properly, and have them inspected by a trained professional every heating season.
- If possible, choose appliances that vent their fumes to the outside.
- If you have an attached garage, don’t idle a car in it. Fumes can quickly build up in the living area of your home.
- Never use a barbecue indoors, even in the fireplace.
- Don’t sleep in a room with an un-vented gas or kerosene space heater.
- Don’t use any gasoline powered engines in an enclosed area.
If you or a member of your family begins to experience the symptoms of CO poisoning (shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea, or fainting), immediately leave the house to get fresh air, and open all windows and doors in the home for ventilation and call 911.
Nassau County residents who have questions about Carbon Monoxide poisoning can call the Nassau County Department of Health- Air Quality Program at 571-3232. Additional information can also be obtained by visiting the New York State Department of Health’s website at www.health.state.ny.us or the Environmental Protection Agency’s website at www.epa.gov.
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